Background

Alhaitham Quick TL;DR DPS Build Guide

PSA #1: A DPS is literally that kid who studied the sword while you were messing around… literally…

PSA #2: Both Alhaitham’s abilities scale off ATK, but he also gets massive gains from EM so don’t forget to give him some Elemental Mastery 💪😤!


Elemental Skill – Universality: An Elaboration on Form

Literally turns into a Dendro Keqing. Deals Dendro DMG on activation. Infuses NA/CA to deal Dendro DMG. Creates mirrors that further deals additional damage based on how many mirrors you have!

Alhaitham is the second Dendro DPS to be introduced, and while he does seem like a Dendro replica of Keqing (which he literally is), his kit packs a bit more punch than hers! His E is the core of his kit, allowing him to deal prolonged Dendro DMG > Physical DMG.

Keep in mind that all of his abilities scale insanely well with EM as well, so do not ignoring building on EM to mass more DPS output!

Here are the details:

Upon activation, Alhaitham will deal Dendro AoE DMG in a small cone in front of him. Whether you Tap or Hold, it will deal the same damage — only difference being Holding allows you to aim the teleport area.

Whether it hits and enemy or not, Alhaitham’s E will spawn a Chisel-Light Mirror. These mirrors are shown on the left, but here are some details of the mirrors:

  • Can have a max of 3 mirrors
  • Each mirror lasts only 4 seconds (each duration is independent from each other)
  • Having a mirror changes NA/CA and Plunging DMG from Physical to Dendro

There are currently only 3 ways to spawn mirrors:

  1. Using Alhaitham’s E (if you have 0, then it will spawn 2)
  2. His Ascension 1 Passive (hitting Charged or Plunging attacks)
  3. Using Alhaitham’s burst (spawns more if you have less when cast)

Having a mirror active will allow Alhaitham’s E to followup with a Projection attack as based on how many mirrors he has.

These Projection attacks only occur every 1.6s after a Dendro-infused NA/CA/Plunging Attack hits, so they’re not too spammy. Basically each mirror can only really trigger 2x since a mirror spawn lasts only 4 seconds.

1 mirror will cause the Projection to deal a zig-zagging slice attack in front of Alhaitham, dealing a single instance of Dendro DMG to all enemies hit.

2 mirrors will spawn a sweeping chakram attack in front of Alhaitham, dealing two instances of Dendro DMG to all enemies hit.

3 mirrors (max) will cause an artillery strike in a small AoE in front of Alhaitham, dealing three instances of Dendro DMG to all enemies hit.

These Projection attacks are a massive boost to Alhaitham’s total DPS output. While the mirrors are tricky to maintain, having three at all times is actually pretty simple — but you will resort to maintaining 2 mirrors mid-rotation due to CD’s.

The rotation for maintaining 3 mirrors is pretty simple: start an encounter with Alhaitham’s Burst (will explain when we go over his burst) to get 3 mirrors instantly > weave 2NA + 1CA to proc Projection attacks twice > use Alhaitham’s Skill to generate 1 mirror > 2NA + 1CA combo until Skill or Burst come back up > repeat.

Using this rotation is optimal for maintaining 3 mirrors for the first rotation of Alhaitham’s kit. The next rotation will force you to mainly have 2 mirrors due to Alhaitham’s insanely long E CD (18 seconds…).


Elemental Burst – Particular Field: Feathers of Phenomena

Alhaitham shoots a beam that reflects off his mirrors, dealing massive AoE Dendro DMG. Does more attacks based on how many mirrors! Spawns mirrors as well!

Alhaitham’s Burst is an integral part of his DPS rotation and even more-so for maintaining upkeep on his mirror stacks.

Essentially, the way it works is his burst will always deal 4 instances of Dendro DMG no matter what. So if you have 0 mirrors, it will still deal 4x Dendro DMG.

  • 1 mirror makes his burst deal 6 instances of Dendro DMG (50% increase in DMG — or 1.5x DMG)
  • 2 mirrors makes his burst deal 8 instances of Dendro DMG (100% increase in DMG — or 2x DMG)
  • 3 mirrors makes his burst deal 10 instances of Dendro DMG (150% increase in DMG — or 2.5x DMG)

To put that into perspective, let’s say our Alhaitham has 2,400 ATK and 300 EM. That means at 0 mirrors, his Burst will deal 20,548.8 Dendro DMG (4 x [4,670.4 from ATK + 466.8 from EM]).

  • 1 mirror = 30,823.2 DMG
  • 2 mirrors = 41,097.6 DMG
  • 3 mirrors = 51,372 DMG

Also using his Burst will also spawn mirrors based on how many mirrors you had when cast. So if you had 0/1/2/3 mirrors when using Burst, it will spawn 3/2/1/0 mirrors. Hence why at the start of an encounter, you want to initiate with Burst to immediately generate 3 mirrors for your NA/CA combo, and then use Burst later in the rotation when you have 2-3 mirrors again!


Ascension 1 Passive – Four Causal Correction

Basically hitting a CA or Plunging attack gives him one mirror!

Important note: this is not exclusive to when you have the Dendro infusement. Hitting a Charged or Plunging attack while dealing Physical DMG will still generate 1 mirror.

This is an extremely useful passive as you can max out 3 mirrors with this simple combo:

  1. Make sure you have 0 mirrors
  2. Use E to spawn 2 mirrors instantly (since using E with 0 mirrors spawns an additional one)
  3. CA (or Plunge attack if you’re using Hold to position higher) immediately to generate 1 mirror

Then if you have Burst up by this time, you can deal max DMG with or just go into the NA/CA combo to parse total DPS via Projections!


Ascension 4 Passive – Mysteries Laid Bare

A.K.A.: More EM = More DMG by E and Q!

0.1% DMG increase per point of EM is another reason why building EM on Alhaitham only benefits you. Let’s do some simple, quick math:

300 EM is not hard to get, and easily achievable with buffers like Sucrose. 300 EM would boost your Projection and Burst DMG by 30% (300 x 0.001).

That is practically like having 2x Noblesse active at all times for your Burst and Projection DMG. Since the cap is at 100% (or 1,000 EM), you can push this based on how much EM your artifacts roll/team comp.


CONSTELLATIONS AND TALENT LEVEL PRIORITY

Unfortunately, Alhaitham’s constellations are completely busted and practically break his “potential” DPS ceiling. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but it basically neutralizes all of the cons of his kit… I would 100% say they’re all worth it.

C1 just literally throws out his only massive flaw, reducing his long 18 second E CD to practically ZERO. The only thing you have to do is just hit a Projection attack…

So the problem is just making sure you can maintain 1 mirror at all times so Projection attacks proc… Except that’s not really an issue since you have 3 different ways of generating mirrors (A1 Passive, his Skill, and his Burst).

That’s 1.2s cut from an 18s CD every 1.6s… So within 15 Projection attacks (or 24s), you can achieve 100% uptime on your E… (I’m emphasizing how insanely dumb this Constellation is…)

C2 transforms Alhaitham into his own EM self-buffer, granting him basically 200 additional EM whenever a mirror is spawned…

Each mirror will grant him 50 EM for 8 seconds, with a max of 4 stacks… While these stack durations don’t refresh when new mirrors form, you can keep triggering C2’s effect even at max mirrors.

Meaning if you have 3 mirrors and you CA/Plunge attack an enemy (which should make 1 mirror), it will count…

Not to mention IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A CD. So if you use Alhaitham’s Burst with 0 mirrors and immediately spawn 3 mirrors — boom… you just got 150 EM in like a millisecond…

C4 now turns Alhaitham into an even stronger self-buffer and also for his entire team??? What were they smoking when they made his constellations…

Basically depending on how many mirrors are consumed when you use Burst, it will impose stronger buffs to both Alhaitham and his team.

His teammates will gain 30 EM per mirror used for 15 seconds. So he can grant his team a max of 90 EM if he consumes 3 mirrors.

Alhaitham himself will get a 10% Dendro DMG buff per mirror used for 15 seconds… So he just straight up gets a 30% Dendro DMG buff if he consumes 3 mirrors…

Only downside is if you cast burst with 3 mirrors, and then cast another burst (within 15 seconds) with 2 mirrors, then it overrides the existing buffs — meaning the buff can get weaker if you cast with less mirrors than before!

C6 is just absurd. He will basically always spawn 3 mirrors no matter how many mirrors you had when casting Burst.

If you already had 3 mirrors, then instead it will boost his CRIT% and CRIT DMG by 10% and 70% respectively for 6 seconds…

And if you were to somehow cast Burst again within a 6s window, then it’ll keep stacking 6s to the CRIT buff duration each time…

So this in-tandem to his C4 completely breaks his ability to not only maximize his own Burst DMG, but also his team’s, himself even further, and removes all limitations on his entire kit…

Completely busted…


Talent Leveling Order: E > NA > Q (because majority of his damage scales from his E’s Projection attacks)


WEAPON #1 (Recommended for best DPS): Light of Foliar Incision

How do I get it D: ? – It’s time to roll boys (gacha)

Has base CRIT DMG scaling and provides insane NA and Skill DMG!

Light of Foliar Incision is Alhaitham’s signature weapon and currently his BiS for two reasons: first, it’s insanely strong for buffs as it boosts CRIT DMG, CRIT%, his NA DMG, and his Skill DMG… The only downside is that the 120% DMG buff to his NA and Skill DMG disappear after 12 seconds or after 28 DMG instances (this only pertains to his NA and Skill DMG only — however that includes Projection attacks!). However, that’s not a big issue since the enemy should be dead way before then… Second reason being that the trigger for the effect is… to just deal a NA that has Elemental DMG… Meaning all you need is to make sure you have 1 mirror active to proc the effect!

Primordial Jade Cutter is a great stat stick that grants an amazing 44.1% CRIT% and additional ATK based off Max HP. While the additional ATK may not be that great (due to Alhaitham not prioritizing HP), it’s still an extremely strong 5-star option for purely pushing CRIT values!

Mistsplitter Reforged only falls short of Primordial due to how many requirements it needs to maximize it’s effect. While it does grant an impressive 44.1% CRIT DMG, as well as 12% Elemental DMG bonus, the remaining 8%/16%/28% Elemental DMG bonuses from the stacks are too difficult for Alhaitham to fully push — mainly due to his 70 Energy cost burst and it’s long CD.

Haran Geppaku Futsu gets a mention due to it’s ability to boost NA DMG significantly. It grants 33.1% CRIT%, but the focus is on the 12% Elemental DMG bonus and potential 40% NA DMG bonuses. As long as 2 teammates use a Burst before his rotation, he will gain the 40% NA DMG bonus (which is huge for a NA-dependent character like him).


WEAPON #2 (Recommended for best 4-star): Toukabou Shigure

How do I get it D: ? – Akitsu Kimodameshi Event (3.3 Event Weapon)

Has base EM scaling and boosts DMG done to marked enemies!

Toukabou Shigure is an event weapon that was recently introduced in 3.3 that provides an ample amount of EM and DMG buff — only catch is that the DMG buff is applied to a single enemy at a time! At max level, it provides 195 EM which is great for Alhaitham’s scaling. The 32% DMG buff will apply to a random single enemy that was hit. It’s great for single-target bursting (like for bosses), but not the most impressive for things like Spiral Abyss.

Harbinger of Dawn gets a great mention due to it’s pure CRIT value buffing. While it is a 3-star sword, it can provide 46.9% CRIT DMG and 28% CRIT% for Alhaitham, allowing him to push for that golden 1:2 CRIT ratio. The catch is you need to run a really good shielder, as the 28% CRIT% only applies when over 90% HP. This may interfere with your team composition since Alhaitham does extremely well with DendroElectro comps, and there aren’t that many great DendroElectro shielders yet…

The Black Sword is the Battlepass weapon that provides a quick CRIT% boost and some additional healing, but the main focus being the 40% constantly active NA/CA DMG buff. It’s a significant DMG boost for Alhaitham as you will be doing a lot of NA/CA combos throughout your rotation.

Iron Sting gets an honorable mention since it’s a F2P, craftable weapon that also does great for Alhaitham. The 165 EM and 24% Elemental DMG buffs all compliment Alhaitham’s overall kit great, and honestly performs great for clearing even Spiral Abyss content! Just make sure to focus on CRIT values a bit more if building Iron Sting!


ARTIFACTS (Recommended for best DPS): Gilded Dreams

How do I get it D: ? – Spire of Solitary Enlightenment Domain (AR 30 Locked, 20 Resin per run)

Boosts EM and gives additional EM/ATK based on team comp!

4x Gilded Dreams is arguably the best set for Alhaitham due to the outrageous amount of EM and ATK it can potentially provide him. The 2x buff provides an ample 80 EM, but the 4x effect is the true star. Depending on who’s on his team, Alhaitham can get additional EM or ATK as his buff. Non-Dendro characters will provide 50 EM to Alhaitham each — while Dendro characters will instead grant a 14% ATK buff.

So if we have a team of Alhaitham Nahida Yelan Shinobu, then Alhaitham will gain 14% ATK and 100 EM!

4x Deepwood Memories is highly situational and based on the team you’re running. If there is another Dendro character on the team that is using 4x Deepwood, then Alhaitham is better off using 4x Gilded — however if no one is using 4x Deepwood, then Alhaitham can run this set instead! It’s a great Dendro DMG buffing set, that also shred’s an enemy’s Dendro RES by 30% as well!

For early players, 4x Martial Artist is actually a great placeholder as it provides a 40% boost to NA and CA DMG, which is more than enough for Alhaitham to dish some good DPS at early stages!

Main stats:

SandsGobletCirclet
Elemental MasteryDendro DMG%CRIT% or CRIT DMG

Substats: CRIT% > CRIT DMG > EM > ATK (ATK% if not main stat)

If you want other characters let me know. Hope this helped. Bye.

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I spend too much time filling out spreadsheets for incoherent data, but at least I can turn them into guides :P

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4 Comments

  1. I just want to point out that EM affects his projections and burst, not the actual normal attacks. So putting on more ATK is good for a well-rounded Alhaitham, but going all in with EM is fine so long as you understand his rotation.

    • I agree that there should be a balance between ATK and EM (like with most characters that have dual-scaling). However in Alhaitham’s case I would argue it’s okay to side more with EM (maybe like a 30:70 ratio for ATK:EM).

      This is purely due to 1) how outrageous Dendro reactions are currently, and 2) his frequency for proc’ing reactions. Due to his multiple methods of enabling Dendro DMG, he actually has currently 3 individual methods (each with their own ICD) — allowing him to proc Dendro reactions like Quicken/Spread effectively.

      I also think it’s why most people also recommend EM > ATK% for Sands for this reason. I have run a more ATK-centralized build on him as well, and it performs just a tiny bit below an EM-focused build (it also massive depends on the team comp run of course!).

  2. Who would be a better healer, Yaoyao or Kuki? I don’t have Nahida to assist with dendro resonance, and my alternatives are Traveler (of course), Collei, or Tighnari (I guess). I was also hopeing to use Zhongli in my party as well.

    As for swords, could Kagotsurube Isshin work as well?

    • If you don’t have another Electro source, then Kuki will do a lot more in his composition — and then run Collei as the 2nd Dendro proc.
      But if you do have someone like Raiden, Yae, Fischl, or even Beidou, then Yaoyao works fine!

      As for Isshin, can work as a placeholder, but you would honestly get more out of Iron Sting (if you are F2P).

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